Aug 28, 2018 at 4:30 AM
My heart is broken tonight; broken for my country. Today we lost a great American hero (“War hero, maverick,” New York Times article, Sunday‘s Dispatch). Sen. John McCain has passed. And I am a liberal. And he was a Reagan Republican.
I have read that he was at peace with the knowledge that he was dying. But we Americans need his kind more than ever. Sen. McCain was a true American hero, both at war and in the Senate. At a time when primary loyalty seems to be focused on political parties, McCain‘s loyalty was always to country first. In younger days it showed in the great courage he showed in captivity in loyalty to his men and despite torture that he never completely recovered from. I know I could not have held up, most of us if we are honest at all will admit that.
And anyone who has never served or faced great physical deprivation is a liar if they have the audacity to claim otherwise because he was “captured.” McCain will go down in history as one of his generation‘s foremost effective legislators. I did not always agree with him, but had no doubt that he did what he thought was best for the country. He often voted against party lines.
He reached across the aisle and compromised with Democrats in order to pass legislation. At a time when Congress famously holds up bills to stop votes and eschews compromise, he knew that his job was to work to make his country better by passing laws, not simply attempting to avoid his sworn duty to the American people.
Mr. Senator, you are at well-deserved peace. But all well-intentioned and patriotic Americans wonder who will take your place as conscience of the Congress. My heart and thoughts are with McCain‘s family. And his country. And anyone who disparages his courage is a pathetic and unpatriotic person — regardless of the office.
Laura Trommer, Columbus